mReview: 2022 Volvo XC40 Recharge - Less is More

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Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1678415234250 Xc40+Recharge FeaturedThe Volvo XC40 Recharge makes you realise the importance of considerate design and engineering, and forgoes the automotive industry’s inane pursuit for ever greater levels of power.

This whole obsession with Swedish minimalism and quality can be found throughout the car. It is this simplicity and attention to detail that makes the car look and feel good. Plush materials, the effortless but silent powertrain also adds an air of luxury to the overall experience.Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1678415314146 Xc40+Recharge 08Which is very welcomed at the price point Volvo wants for their car. And the good news doesn’t stop there - the XC40 Recharge still has a lot to offer.

Refreshed Aesthetics

By no means is this an all-new car - Volvo has previously made ICE and plug-in hybrid variants of this vehicle. But with the introduction of this electric variant, comes a minor facelift which sees Volvo streamlining the front fascia of the XC40.Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1678415322988 Xc40+Recharge 07The new headlights are slimmer than on the outgoing petrol-powered cars, and the lower half of the front bumper has also been restyled too. Changes are fairly minimal everywhere else. As with most current electric cars, Volvo has opted to blank off the front grille, only leaving a slit in the lower portion of it for cooling purposes.

What’s Inside?

The cabin is identical to the Volvo C40 Recharge we tested earlier last year. All of the interior components feel robust, and common touchpoints have all been trimmed in soft-touch materials. A sensible UI on the Android Automotive infotainment screen and clear-cut graphics on the digital dash makes for a pain-free experience when behind the wheel.Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1678415303864 Xc40+Recharge 05No faux carbon fibre or wood for contrast here - Volvo opted to incorporate the topological features of Sweden’s iconic Abisko national park. Which is all part of their ethos to combine the serenity of Scandinavian nature with the confidence of electric ambition. Also, comfort isn’t an issue regardless of the seat you find yourself in. There is proper footwell space across all the seats in the car, so thigh support isn’t an issue.

How Does it Drive?

It isn’t the most athletic SUV on sale, that’s for sure. But it doesn’t need to be. Instead of trying to stuff the vehicle with performance it doesn’t need, and compromising its day-to-day usability, Volvo opted to optimise the car for comfort and range, and it definitely pays off.Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1678415296320 Xc40+Recharge 01As the car has been built on a platform that has provisions for electric powertrains, there’s no compromise to overall weight distribution. The 69 kWh battery pack lives underneath the cabin floor, and is good for a real-world range of about 420 kilometres. Keep in mind also that I wasn’t driving efficiently at all, so it’d actually return close to what the Swedes claim it’d do when driven sensibly.Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1678415282543 Xc40+Recharge 09When you start driving it hard, you’d start to feel its heft. Optimised weight distribution and instantaneous power does do a good job in disguising its curb weight, but there’s no fighting physics. You’ll notice this when you hurtle the car at some twisty roads, and you’d feel it being reluctant to rotate as effectively as you’d want it too. Still, it isn’t built for this sort of driving, and when you drive this vehicle with the respect a sensible Swede deserves, you’d be hard pressed to find another car in its price bracket that is as comfortable as it is.

Should You Buy One?

As with the C40 and its Polestar cousins, the Volvo XC40 Recharge isn’t just good for an EV - it is a well-sorted car, period. This is a properly comfortable cruiser, with robust overall build, and a reliable powertrain that’d treat you well even if you do decide to take it long distance.Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1678415269959 Xc40+Recharge 03Rather silently and effectively, the Swedes have quietly worked their way to the top of the EV game. Big range and power means you’d be able to make the EV switch with little compromise. The only factor deterring you right now should only be the high COE we currently find ourselves in. If you’re looking for a compact premium SUV, there’s really no better buy!

Volvo XC40 Recharge Specifications
Price: $242,000  VES Band: A1
Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor
231 bhp, 330 Nm
Driven Wheels:
5 km/kWh
7.4 s
Top Speed:
160 km/h 
Battery Capacity:
69 kWh
4,425 mm x 1,873 mm x 1,651 mm
2,702 mm
Cargo Capacity:
483 - 1,359 litres

Photo Credits: ACube Creative (@weareacube)

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